Torrent and download sites have long been in the crosshairs of anime and manga producers and license holders, but one Japanese Naruto and One Piece manga spoiler site this month found itself on the receiving end of a note from the Japanese publisher.
Kotaku reports the staff of the fan site Naruto Channel posted a notice that they were deleting all past reveals for both manga and would cease publication of those spoilers. Sankaku Complex reports that the site received a note from publisher Shueisha that told the administrators, “We would be grateful if you would be so kind as to delete your articles and close your site.”
English Naruto Fan Site Open To Dialogue
A spokeswoman for Viz Media, which publishes Naruto and One Piece manga in North America, did not respond to request for comment on its stance on English-language spoiler sites. Shueisha is a co-owner of Viz.
The owner of one English Naruto spoiler site, Leafninja.com, said in an email that site administrators “are open to a dialogue with [license holders]… if they wish for any content modification.”
A Legal Grey Area
However, the owner of the Naruto fan website, who identified himself as Andrew (he declined to provide his last name), said he was concerned about the form any eventual legal concerns could take.
“Is it a chapter summary? Is it a full chapter dialogue script? Does it include the raw chapter scan? Does it include a fan scanslation?” he said in an email. “Several of those are clearly in violation of copyright, and some are a legal grey area which should err on the side of deferring to the wishes of the license holder if the content in question is indeed posted before its official release date and they make an official request that the content be modified in some way.”
Many fans also appear unsure what this move means for the future of English sites.
“Maybe people should start buying mangas instead of reading them online and sales would be better. And by people I mean everyone but me,” wrote one user on Narutoforums.com. “In any case, I highly doubt spoilers are having a negative effect on sales.”